England Under the Tudors
by Arthur D. Innes
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In England, as in France and Germany, the main characteristic of the last twenty years, from the point of view of the student of history, has been that new material has been accumulating much faster than it can be assimilated or absorbed. The standard histories of the last generation need to be revised, or even to be put aside as obsolete, in the light of the new information that is coming in so rapidly and in such vast bulk. But the students and researchers of to-day have shown little enthusiasm as yet for the task of re-writing history on a large scale. We see issuing from the press hundreds of monographs, biographies, editions of old texts, selections from correspondence, or collections of statistics, mediaeval and modern. But the writers who (like the late Bishop Stubbs or Professor Samuel Gardiner) undertake to tell over again the history of a long period, with the aid of all the newly discovered material, are few indeed. It is comparatively easy to write a monograph on the life of an individual or a short episode of history. But the modern student, knowing well the mass of material that he has to collate, and dreading lest he may make a slip through overlooking some obscure or newly discovered source, dislikes to stir beyond the boundary of the subject, or the short period, on which he has made himself a specialist.

Meanwhile the general reading public continues to ask for standard histories, and discovers, only too often, that it can find nothing between school manuals at one end of the scale and minute monographs at the other. The series of which this volume forms a part is intended to do something towards meeting this demand. Historians will not sit down, as once they were wont, to write twenty-volume works in the style of Hume or Lingard, embracing a dozen centuries of annals. It is not to be desired that they should—the writer who is most satisfactory in dealing with Anglo-Saxon antiquities is not likely to be the one who will best discuss the antecedents of the Reformation, or the constitutional history of the Stuart period. But something can be done by judicious co-operation: it is not necessary that a genuine student should refuse to touch any subject that embraces an epoch longer than a score of years, nor need history be written as if it were an encyclopaedia, and cut up into small fragments dealt with by different hands.

It is hoped that the present series may strike the happy mean, by dividing up English History into periods that are neither too long to be dealt with by a single competent specialist, nor so short as to tempt the writer to indulge in that over-abundance of unimportant detail which repels the general reader. They are intended to give something more than a mere outline of our national annals, but they have little space for controversy or the discussion of sources, save in periods such as the dark age of the 5th and 6th centuries after Christ, where the criticism of authorities is absolutely necessary if we are to arrive at any sound conclusions as to the course of history. A number of maps are to be found at the end of each volume which, as it is hoped, will make it unnecessary for the reader to be continually referring to large historical atlases—tomes which (as we must confess with regret) are not to be discovered in every private library. Genealogies and chronological tables of kings are added where necessary.




THE TUDOR PERIOD, 1485-1603 An era of Revolutions—The Intellectual Movement—The Reformation and Counter-Reformation—The New World—The Constitution—Nobility, Clergy, and Gentry—International Relations.


HENRY VII (i), 1485-1492-THE NEW DYNASTY 1485. Henry's Title to the Crown— Measures to strengthen the Title—1486. Marriage—The King and his Advisers —Henry's enemies—1487. Lambert Simnel—The State of Europe—France and Brittany—1488. Henry intervenes cautiously—England and Spain—1489. Preparations for war with France—Spanish treaty of Medina del Campo—The Allies inert—1490. Object of Henry's Foreign Policy—1491. Apparent Defeat —1492. Henry's bellicose Attitude—Treaty of Etaples.


HENRY VII (ii), 1492-1499-PERKIN WARBECK Ireland; 1485—1487-1492. The Earl of Kildare—1491. Perkin Warbeck's Appearance—Riddle of his imposture— 1492-5. Perkin and Margaret of Burgundy—Diplomatic Intrigues—Ireland: Poynings, 1494-6—1495. Survey of the Situation—Perkin attempts Invasion —Success of Henry's Diplomacy—1496. Perkin and the King of Scots—A Scottish Incursion—1497. The Cornish rising—Its suppression—Perkin's final effort and failure—The Scottish Truce—The End of Perkin Warbeck: 1497-9—1498. The situation.


HENRY VII (iii), 1498-1509-THE DYNASTY ASSURED Scotland and England— Henry's Scottish Policy—France and Scotland—Relations in 1498—Marriage Negotiations; 1498-1503—Marriage of James IV. and Margaret, 1503—Spain and England; Marriage Negotiations, 1488-1499—France, 1499—Spain; Marriage Negotiations, 1499-1501—1501; the Spanish Marriage—1502. New Marriage Schemes—1504. The Papal Dispensation—The Earl of Suffolk; 1499-1505—1505. Henry's Position—Schemes for Re-marriage—1506: The Archduke Philip in England—Philip's Death—1507-8. Matrimonial Projects —The League of Cambrai—Wolsey—1509. Death of Henry.


HENRY VII (iv), 1485-1509—ASPECTS OF THE REIGN 1485; Henry's Position —Studied Legality—Policy of Lenity—Repression of the Nobles—The Star-Chamber—Henry's Use of Parliament—Financial Exactions—Sources of Revenue—Henry's Economics—Trade Theories—Commercial Policy—The Netherlands Trade—The Hansa—The Navigation Acts—Voyages of Discovery— The Rural Revolution—The Church—Henry and Rome—Learning and Letters— Appreciation.


HENRY VIII (i), 1509-1527—EGO ET REX MEUS Europe in 1509—England's Position—The New King—Inauguration of the reign—Henry and the Powers— 1512. Dorset's Expedition—Rise of Wolsey—1513. The French War—Scotland (1499-1513)—The Flodden Campaign—The Battle—Its Effect—Recovery of English Prestige—1514. Foreign Intrigues—The French Alliance and Marriage —1515. Francis I.—Marignano—1516-7. European changes—1518-9. Wolsey's Success—1519. Charles V.—The Imperial Election—1520. Wolsey's Triumph— Rival Policies—Field of the Cloth of Gold—Wolsey's Aims—Charles V. and Francis I.—Scotland: 1513-1520—1520-1. Affairs Abroad—1521. Buckingham —Wolsey's Diplomacy—1522. A Papal Election—War with France—Scotland— 1523. Progress of the War—Election of Clement VII.—1524. Wolsey's difficulties—Intrigues in Scotland—1525. Pavia—The Amicable Loan—A Diplomatic struggle—1526-7. Wolsey's success—A new Factor.


HENRY VIII (ii), 1509-1532—BIRTH OF THE REFORMATION The Reformation in England—Its true Character—Religious Decadence—The Scholar- Reformers—Ecclesiastical Demoralisation—Monastic Corruption—The Proofs—Corruption of Doctrine—Evidence from Colet and More—Later Evidence—Dean Colet—His Sermon: 1512—Erasmus—The Utopia: 1516— Exaggerated attacks—Clerical Privileges—Tentative Reforms—The Educational Movement—Wolsey and the Reformation—The Lutheran Revolt: 1517—Luther's Defiance—The Diet of Worms; 1521—The German Peasants' Revolt; 1524—Its Effect in England—1525. The Empire and the Papacy—The Sack of Rome, 1527—Diet of Augsburg, 1530-The Swiss Reformers; 1520-1530—English Heretics Abroad—Contrasted Aims.


HENRY VIII (iii), 1527-1529—THE FALL OF WOLSEY "The King's Affair"—Story of the Marriage—Anne Boleyn—1527. The King Prepares—Theoretical Excuses—The Need of an Heir—The Plea of Invalidity—Conjunction of Incentives—The Orleans Betrothal—Conclusions—The first Plan—The second Plan—Knight's Mission—Its Failure—The Pope and the Cardinal—1528. Gardiner's Mission—Wolsey's Critical Position—Campeggio and Wolsey— Henry's Attitude—1529. The Trial—The Storm Gathers—The Storm Breaks— Wolsey's fall—1530. Wolsey's Death—His Achievement—Appreciation of Wolsey.


HENRY VIII (iv), 1529-1533—THE BREACH WITH ROME 1529. No Revolt Yet— Growth of Anti-clericalism—Thomas Cranmer—Appeal to the Universities —The New Parliament—Thomas Cromwell—Pope, Clergy, and King—Double Campaign Opens—1530. Answer of Universities—Preoccupation of the Clergy—Menace of Praemunire—1531. "Only Supreme Head"—Proceedings in Parliament—1532. Parliament—Supplication against the Ordinaries— Resistance of Clergy—"Submission of the Clergy"—Mortmain, Benefit of Clergy, and Annates—The Powers and the Divorce—The Turn of the Year— 1533. The Crisis—Restraint of Appeals—Cranmer Archbishop—The Decisive Breach.


HENRY VIII (v), 1533-1540—MALLEUS MONACHORUM 1533. Ecclesiastical Parties —Pope or King?—1534. Confirmatory Acts—The Pope's Last Word—The Nun of Kent—The Act of Succession—The Oath Refused—The "Bishop of Rome"— Parliament—Treasons Act—1529-1534: The New Policy—Thomas Cromwell—1535. More and Fisher—Cromwell Vicar—General—The German Lutherans—Overtures— Visitation of the Monasteries—1536. Suppression of Lesser Houses—The Evidence—The Black Book—The Consequent Commission—The Policy—Anne Boleyn Threatened—Her Condemnation and Death—The Succession—Punishment of Heresy—The Progressive Movement—The Ten Articles—The Lincolnshire Rising—The Pilgrimage of Grace—Aske Beguiled—1537. Suppression of the Rising—Turned to Account—Scotland, 1533-6—1536-7. Naval Measures—1537. An Heir—1538. Diplomatic Moves—The Exeter Conspiracy—1539. Cromwell Strikes—Menace of Invasion—The King and Lutheranism—The Six Articles— Final Suppression of Monasteries—Royal Proclamations Act—Anne of Cleves— 1540. The Marriage—Fall of Cromwell.


HENRY VIII (vi), 1540-1547—HENRY'S LAST YEARS 1540. Katharine Howard—The King his own Minister—England and the Powers—Scotland and England; 1541— Cardinal Beton—1542—Solway Moss—1543. Henry's Scottish Policy—Alliance with Charles V.—French War—1544. Domestic Affairs—Intrigues in Scotland —Sack of Edinburgh—French War—Peace of Crepy—1545. Ancram Moor—A French Armada—1546. Peace concluded—1532-1549. Europe—Lutherans and the Papacy—Conference of Ratisbon-Council of Trent: first stages— Death of Luther-Charles and the League of Schmalkald—The Jesuit Order— Calvin—England: the Ecclesiastical Revolution—Progressives and Reactionaries—1543. The King's Book-1546. Surrey—1547. Death of Henry.


HENRY VIII (vii), 1509-1547—ASPECTS OF HENRY'S REIGN Ireland: 1509-1520—Surrey in Ireland, 1520—Irish Policy, 1520-1534—Fitzgerald's Revolt—1535-1540: Lord Leonard Grey—1540: St. Leger—"King of Ireland"— England: Wolsey's work—The Army—The Navy—The New World— Absolutism—The Parliamentary Sanction—Depression of the Nobles— Parliament and the Purse—Finance—The Land—Learning and Letters—The Utopia—Surrey and Wyatt—Appreciation of Henry VIII.: Morals and Character—Abilities and Achievement—Dominant Personality— Conclusions.


EDWARD VI (i), 1547-1549—THE PROTECTOR SOMERSET 1547. The New Government— Relations with France and Scotland—with Charles V.—Somerset's Scottish Policy—Pinkie—The Advanced Reformers—Benevolent Legislation— Ecclesiastical Legislation—1548. Progress of the Reformation—Somerset's Ideas—The French in Scotland—The Augsburg Interim—Parliament—1549. A New Liturgy—The Treason of the Lord Admiral: 1547-9—1549—Troubles in the Provinces—The Western Rising—Ket's Insurrection—The Protector's Attitude—The Council attacks him—His Fall—Ireland: St. Leger and Bellingham.


EDWARD VI (ii), 1549-1553—THE DUDLEY ASCENDANCY 1549. Foreign Relations— State of England—1550. Terms with France—Protestant zeal of Warwick— Treasons Act—Protestant Fanaticism-1551. The Council and Charles V.—His Difficulties—Groups among the Reformers—Somerset—His final overthrow— 1552. Execution of Somerset—Pacification of Passau—English Neutrality— The Reformation: its Limits hitherto—Revision of the Liturgy— Nonconformity—Parliament—1553. A New Parliament—Northumberland's Programme—Plot to change the Succession—Adhesion of King and Council— Death of Edward VI.—Willoughby and Chancellor.


MARY (i), 1553-1555-THE SPANISH MARRIAGE The Marian Tragedies—1553. Proclamation of Queen Jane—The People support Mary—Collapse of the Plot— Mary's Leniency—Cause of the Popular Loyalty—Problems: Marriage and the Reformation—Possible Claimants—Moderate Reaction—Proposed Spanish Match —Parliament: Repeal of Edward's Legislation—1554. Wyatt's Rebellion and the Lady Elizabeth—Subsequent Severities—The Marriage Treaty-Pole, Renard, and Gardiner—Public Tension—Parliament; Reconciliation with Rome —Reaction consummated, 1555.


MARY (ii), 1555-1558-THE PERSECUTION Mary's early Policy—The Persecution— Who was Responsible?—Comparison with other Persecutions—Some Characteristic Features—1555. The First Martyrs—Trial of Cranmer—Ridley and Latimer—Fate of Cranmer—His Record and Character—Policy of Philip— Paul IV.—Mary disappointed of an Heir—A New Parliament—Gardiner's Death and Character—Mary's Difficulties—1556. The Dudley Conspiracy—Foreign Complications—1557. War with France—1558. Loss of Calais—National Depression—Mary's Death and Character.



1558. Accession—Mary Stewart's Claim—Strength of Elizabeth's Position— Sir William Cecil—Finance—Philip II. and Elizabeth's Marriage—The Religious Question—A Protestant Policy—1559. Parliament: Act of Supremacy—The Prayer-Book—France and Peace—State of Scotland—Arran and Elizabeth—The Archduke Charles—Wynter in the Forth—1560. Difficulties of France—Vacillations of Elizabeth—Siege of Leith—Treaty of Edinburgh— Elizabeth's Methods—The Dudley Imbroglio—The Huguenots—The Pope—1561. Return of Mary to Scotland.


ELIZABETH (ii), 1561-1568-QUEENS AND SUITORS 1561. The Situation—Council of Trent—France; State of Parties—1561-8. France: Catholics and Huguenots —The Netherlands: Philip's Policy—Prelude to War—1561. The Queens' suitors—1562. Mary in Scotland—1562-3. Elizabeth and the Huguenots—The English Succession-1564. Darnley and Others—1565. The Darnley Marriage— Mary and Murray—1566. The Murder of Rizzio—1567. Kirk o' Field—The Bothwell Marriage—Mary at Loch Leven—Murray Regent—1568. Langside, and the Flight to England—1562-8. Protestantism of Elizabeth's Government— Religious Parties—1566-7. Parliament and the Queen's Marriage—The Queen and the Archduke.


ELIZABETH (iii), 1568-1572—THE CATHOLIC CHALLENGE 1568. Mary in England—A Commission of Enquiry—Proceedings at York—Attitude of Philip—The Commission at Westminster—Comment on the Enquiry—Seizure of Spanish Treasure—1569. The Incident passed over—The Northern Rebellion—1570. Murder of Murray—The Bull of Deposition—The Anjou Match—1570-1. The Ridolfi Plot—1571. Parliament—Collapse of the Anjou Match—The Ridolfi Plot Develops—1572. Parliament and Mary Stewart—Lepanto—The Netherlands Revolt—The Alencon Match—St. Bartholomew.


ELIZABETH (iv), 1572-1578—VARIUM ET MUTABILE Elizabeth's Diplomacy—The Queen's Subjects—Development of Protestantism—1572. Katharine de Medici —The Aim of Elizabeth—England and the Massacre—Spain seeks Amity—1573. A Spanish Alliance—Scotland: End of the Marian Party—The Netherlands, France, and Spain—The Netherlands, England, and Spain—1574. Amicable Relations of England and Spain—1575. A Deadlock—1576. Attitude of the Nation—The Queen evades War—Alencon and the Huguenots—The Netherlands and Don John—Elizabeth's Attitude—1577. The Political Kaleidoscope—The Archduke Matthias—1578. Mendoza—Orange and Alencon—Death of Don John— NOTE: The Portuguese Succession.


ELIZABETH (v), 1558-1578—IRISH AND ENGLISH 1549-58—1558. Shan O'Neill— The Antrim Scots—1560-1. Shan and the Government—1562. Shan in England— 1563-5. Shan's supremacy in Ulster recognised—1566. Sir Henry Sidney Deputy—Overthrow of O'Neill—Catholicism in Irish Politics—1568. The Colonising of Munster—1569. Insurrection in Munster—Ireland and Philip— Experimental Presidencies—1573-4. Essex in Ulster—1576-8. Sidney's second Deputyship.


ELIZABETH (vi), 1578-1583—THE PAPAL ATTACK 1579. The Union of Utrecht— 1578. The Matrimonial Juggle—Alencon's wooing—1579. Popular Hostility to the Match—Loyalty to Elizabeth—Yea and Nay—The Papal Plan of Campaign— 1580. Philip annexes Portugal—Ireland: 1579; the Desmond Rising— 1580: Fire and Sword—Development of the Rebellion—Smerwick: and after— Scotland: 1579-1581—England: 1580—The Jesuit Mission— Walsingham at Work—1581. An Anti-papal Parliament—Alencon redivivus—His visit to England—1582. Alencon in the Netherlands—1583. Exit Alencon—Scotland.


ELIZABETH (vii), 1583-1587-THE END OF QUEEN MARY 1583. Throgmorton's Conspiracy—Catholics abroad sanguine—Division in their Counsels—The Plot discovered—1584. Assassination of Orange—The "Association"—1585. Its Ratification—France: The Holy League—Elizabeth's agreement with the States—Drake's Cartagena Raid—Elizabeth's Intrigues-1586. Leicester in the Netherlands—The Trapping of Mary—Babington's Plot—Trial of the Queen of Scots—Elizabeth and Mary—1587. Execution of Mary.


ELIZABETH (viii), 1558-1587-THE SEAMEN The New World—The English Marine before Elizabeth—The Royal Navy—Privateering—"Piracy"—Reprisal—The Explorers—Spain in America—John Hawkins, 1562-6—San Juan d'Ulloa, 1567— Francis Drake—Darien Expedition, 1572—Oxenham, 1575—Drake's Great Voyage: 1577—Drake in the Pacific, 1578—in the North Pacific, 1579— his Return, 1580—Various Voyages: 1576-1587—Raleigh—Humphrey Gilbert—Virginia.


ELIZABETH (ix), 1587-1588-THE ARMADA 1587. Results of Mary's Death— Attitude of Philip—Attitude of Elizabeth—The situation—Drake's Cadiz Expedition—Negotiations with Parma—Elizabeth's Diplomacy—French Affairs —Preparations for the Armada—1588. Plans of Campaign—Forces of the Antagonists—The New Tactics—Defective Arrangements—The Land Forces—May to July—The Fleets off Plymouth—The Fight off Portland—The Fight off the Isle of Wight—Effect on the Fleets—The Armada at Calais—The Battle off Gravelines—Flight and Ruin of the Armada.


ELIZABETH (x), 1588-1598-BRITANNIA VICTRIX After the Armada—A new Phase—Death of Leicester—France, 1588-9—England aggressive—Alternative Naval Policies—Don Antonio—Plan of the Lisbon Expedition—1589. The Expedition; Corunna and Peniche—The Lisbon Failure—Policies and Persons— France, 1589-1593—1590. Death of Walsingham—The Year's Operations—1591. Grenville's Last Fight—France, 1590-3—Operations, 1592-4—Survey, 1589-94 —Spain and the English Catholics—Scottish Intrigues—Ireland: 1583-1592 —Tyrone, 1592-4—1595. Drake's Last Voyage—1596. The Cadiz Expedition— Ireland—The Second Armada—1597. The Island Voyage—1598. Condition of Spain—Death of Philip—Death of Burghley: Appreciation.


ELIZABETH (xi), 1598-1603—THE QUEEN'S LAST YEARS A new Generation—1598. Ireland—The Earl of Essex—1599. Essex in Ireland—His Downfall—Catholic Factions—Philip III.—1600—Ireland—Succession Intrigues—The End of Essex—Robert Cecil—1601. Ireland: Rebellion broken—1602. The Succession —Last Intrigues—1603. Death of Elizabeth.


ELIZABETH (xii), 1558-1603—LITERATURE Birth of a National Literature— Prose: before 1579—1579-1589—Euphues—Sidney—Hooker— Verse: before 1579—1579-1590—Drama: before Elizabeth— early Elizabethan—The Younger Generation>: pervading Characteristics Displayed in the Drama—and other Fields—Breadth of view—Patriotism—Normal Types.


ELIZABETH (xiii), 1558-1603—ASPECTS OF THE REIGN Features of the Reign— Religion: State and Church—The State and the Catholics—The Church and the Puritans—Archbishop Whitgift—The Persecutions—Economic Progress—Retrenchment—Wealth and Poverty—Trade Restrictions and Development—Travellers—Maritime Expansion—The Constitution— Elizabeth: her People—her Ministers—Appreciation.
















[Sidenote: An era of Revolutions]

The historian of the future will, perhaps, affirm that the nineteenth century, with the last years of the eighteenth, has been a period more fraught with momentous events in the development of the nations than any equal period since the Christian era commenced. Yet striking as are the developments witnessed by the last four generations, the years when England was ruled by Princes of the House of Tudor have a history hardly if at all less momentous. For though what we call the Tudor period, from 1485 to 1603, is determined by a merely dynastic title affecting England alone, the reign of that dynasty happens to coincide in point of time with the greatest territorial revolution on record, a religious revolution unparalleled since the rise of Mohammed, and an intellectual activity to match which we must go back to the great days of Hellas, or forward to the nineteenth century: revolutions all of them not specifically English, but affecting immediately every nation in Europe; while one of them extended itself to every continent on the globe. Moreover, the accompanying social revolution, though comparatively superficial, was only a little less marked than the others. Nor was there any country in Europe more influenced by the general Revolution in any one of its aspects than England.

Nihil per saltum is no doubt as true of historical movements as of physical evolution. Before Columbus sighted Hispaniola, Portuguese sailors had told tales of some vast island seen by them far in the west. Botticelli had passed out of Filippo Lippi's school, and Leonardo was thirty, before Raphael was born; the printing press had reached England, and Greek had been re-discovered, in the last years of the previous "period"; the Byzantine Empire had fallen; the power of the old Baronage in England and France had been broken before Richard fell on Bosworth field. There were Lollards at home and Hussites abroad before Luther came into the world. The changes did not begin in 1485, or in any particular year. In Italy the intellectual movement had already long been active, and had indeed produced its best work; outside of Italy, its appearances had been quite sporadic. At that date, the Ocean movement was in its initial stages. There had been foreshadowings of the Reformation; and, to speak metaphorically, the castles which had maintained the power of the nobility, overshadowing the gentry and the burghers, were already in ruins. But the fame of every one of the great English names which are landmarks in every one of these great movements belongs essentially to the years after 1485. And every one of those movements had definitely and decisively set its mark on the world before Elizabeth was laid in her grave.

[Sidenote: The Intellectual Movement]

The intellectual movement to which we apply the name Renaissance in its narrower sense [Footnote: In the more inclusive sense the Renaissance of course began in the time of Cimabue and Dante, but it was not till the latter half of the fifteenth century that it became a pervading force outside of Italy.] has many aspects. Whatever views we may happen to hold as to schools of painting and architecture, it is indisputable that a revolution was wrought by the work of Raphael and Leonardo, Michael Angelo and Titian, and the crowd of lesser great men who learned from them. The limitations imposed on Art by ecclesiastical conventions were deprived of their old rigour, and it was no longer sought to confine the painter to producing altar pieces and glorified or magnified missal-margins. The immediate tangible and visible results were however hardly to be found outside of Italy and the Low Countries; and if English domestic architecture took on a new face, it was the outcome rather of the social than the artistic change: since men wanted comfortable houses instead of fortresses to dwell in. The Renaissance in its creative artistic phase touched England directly hardly at all.

On its literary side, the movement was not creative but scholarly and critical, though a great creative movement was its outcome. In the earlier period the name of Ariosto is an exception; but otherwise the greatest of the men of Letters are perhaps, in their several ways, Erasmus and Macchiavelli abroad and Thomas More in England. Scholars and students were doing an admirable work of which the world was much in need; displacing the schoolmen, overturning mediaeval authorities and conventions, reviving the knowledge of the mighty Greek Literature which for centuries had been buried in oblivion, introducing fresh standards of culture, spreading education, creating an entirely new intellectual atmosphere. An enormous impulse was given to the new influences by the very active encouragement which the princes of Europe, lay and ecclesiastical, extended to them, the nobility following in the wake of the princes. The best literary brains of the day however were largely absorbed by the religious movement. The great imaginative writers, unless we except Rabelais, appear in the latter half of the sixteenth century—Tasso and Camoens and Cervantes, [Footnote: Don Quixote did not appear till 1605; but Cervantes was then nearly sixty.] Spenser and Marlowe and Shakespeare, as well as Montaigne. But even in the first half of the century, Copernicus enunciated the new theory that the Sun, not the Earth, is the centre of the astronomical system; and before the end of our period, the new methods had established themselves in the field of science, to be first formulated early in the new century by one who had already mastered and applied them, Francis Bacon. Essentially, the modern Scientific Method was the product of the Tudor Age.

[Sidenote: The Reformation and the Counter-Reformation]

For many centuries, Christendom had in effect been undivided. There had indeed been a time when it was uncertain whether the Arian heresy might not prevail over orthodoxy, but that was a thousand years ago. The Byzantine Church later had separated from the Roman on a subtle point of Theology; but in spite of various dissensions, and efforts on the part of kings and of Churches which may be called national to assert a degree of independence, all Western Europe had acknowledged the supremacy of the papacy; and though reformers had arisen, the movements they initiated had either been absorbed by orthodoxy or crushed almost out of sight. The Tudor period witnessed that vast schism which divided Europe into the two religious camps, labelled—with the usual inaccuracy of party labels— Catholic and Protestant: the latter, as time went on, failing into infinite divisions, still however remaining agreed in their resistance to the common foe. Roughly—very roughly—in place of the united Christendom of the Middle Ages, the end of the period found the Northern, Scandinavian, and Teutonic races ranged on one side, the Southern Latin races on the other; and in both camps a very much more intelligent conception of religion, a much more lively appreciation of its relation to morals. The intellectual revolution had engendered a keen and independent spirit of inquiry, a disregard of traditional authority, an iconoclastic zeal, a passion for ascertaining Truth, which, applied to religion, crashed against received systems and dogmas with a tremendous shock rending Christendom in twain. But the Reformers were not all on one side; and those who held by the old faiths and acknowledged still the old mysteries included many of the most essentially religious spirits of the time. If the Protestants won a new freedom, the Catholics acquired a new fervour and on the whole a new spirituality. For both Catholic and Protestant, religion meant something which had been lacking to latter-day mediaevalism: something for which it was worth while to fight and to die, and—a much harder matter than dying —to sever the bonds of friendship and kinship. That these things should have needed to be done was an evil; that men should have become ready to do them was altogether good. The Reformation brought not peace but a sword; Religion was but one of the motives which made men partisans of either side; yet that it became a motive at all meant that they had realised it as an essential necessity in their lives.

[Sidenote: The New World]

It is hardly necessary to dwell at length on the magnitude of the maritime expansion; the Map [Footnote: See Map 1]is more eloquent than words. In 1485 the coasts that were known to Europeans were those of Europe, the Levant, and North Africa. Only such rare adventurers as Marco Polo had penetrated Asia outside the ancient limits of the Roman Empire. In 1603, the globe had been twice circumnavigated by Englishmen. Portuguese fleets dominated the Indian waters; there were Portuguese stations both on the West Coast of India and in the Bay of Bengal; Portuguese and Spaniards were established in the Spice Islands whence there was an annual trade round the Cape with the Spanish Peninsula: the English East India Company was already incorporated, and its first fleet, commanded by Captain Lancaster, had opened up the same waters for English trade. Mexico and Peru and the West Indies were Spanish posses-*

** Two pages missing from original book here

[Sidenote: Nobility, clergy and gentry]

In the business of managing the Estates, the problem was further simplified to the Tudors because circumstances enabled them arbitrarily to replenish their treasuries largely from sources which did not wound the susceptibilities of the Commons. Henry VII. could victimise the nobles by fines or benevolences, and Henry VIII. could rob the Church, without arousing the animosity of the classes which were untouched; while neither the nobility nor the clergy were strong enough for active resentment. In each case the King made his profit out of privileged classes which got no sympathy from the rest—who did not grudge the King money so long at least as they were not asked to provide it themselves, and in fact felt that the process diminished the necessity for making demands on their own pockets.

The disappearance of the old almost princely power of the greater barons, completed by the repressive policy of Henry VII., with the redistribution of the vast monastic estates effected by his son, were the leading factors which changed the social and political centre of gravity. The old nobility were almost wiped out by the civil wars; generation after generation, their representatives had either fallen on the battlefield, or lost their heads on the scaffold and their lands by attainder. The new nobility were the creations of the Tudor Kings, lacking the prestige of renowned ancestry and the means of converting retainers into small armies. With the exception of the Howards, scarce one of the prominent statesmen of the period belonged to any of the old powerful families. For more than forty years the chief ministers were ecclesiastics; after Wolsey's fall, the Cromwells, Seymours, Dudleys, and Pagets, the Cecils and Walsinghams, and Bacons, the Russels, Sidneys, Raleighs, and Careys, were of stocks that had hardly been heard of in Plantagenet times, outside their own localities. It was the Tudor policy to foster and encourage this class of their subjects, who from the Tudor times onward provided the country with most of her statesmen and her captains, and in the aggregate mainly swayed her fortunes. At the same time the political influence of the Church was reduced to comparative insignificance by the treatment of the whole hierarchy almost as if it were a branch, and a rather subordinate branch, of the civil administration; by the appropriation of its wealth to secular purposes, to the enrichment of individuals and of the royal treasury; and by the suppression of the monastic orders. The effect of this last measure, limiting the clerical ranks to the successors of the secular clergy, was to restrict them much more generally to their pastoral functions; and at any rate after the death of Gardiner and Pole, no ecclesiastic appears as indubitably first minister of the Crown, and few as politicians of the front rank. England had no Richelieu, and no Mazarin. Lastly while the diminution in the importance of the ecclesiastical courts increased the influence of the lay lawyers, the great development in the prosperity of the mercantile classes, due in part at least to the deliberate policy of the Tudor monarchs, led in turn to their wealthy burgesses acquiring a new weight in the national counsels which, however, did not take full effect till a later day.

[Sidenote: International relations]

Finally we have to observe that in this period the whole system of international relations underwent a complete transformation. At its commencement, there was no Spanish kingdom; there was no Dutch Republic; the unification even of France was not completed; England had a chronically hostile nation on her northern borders; the Moors still held Granada; the Turk had only very recently established himself in Europe, and his advance constituted a threat to all Christendom, which still very definitely recognised one ecclesiastical head in the Pope, and—very much less definitely—one lay head in the Emperor. Elizabeth's death united England and Scotland at least for international purposes; France and Spain had each become a homogeneous state; Holland was on the verge of entering the lists as a first-class power. The theoretical status of the Emperor in Europe had vanished, but on the other hand, the co-ordination of the Empire itself as a Teutonic power had considerably advanced. The Turk was held in check, and the Moor was crushed: but one half of Christendom was disposed to regard the other half as little if at all superior to the Turk in point of Theology. The nations of Western Europe had approximately settled into the boundaries with which we are familiar; the position of the great Powers had been, at least comparatively speaking, formulated; and the idea had come into being which was to dominate international relations for centuries to come—the political conception of the Balance of Power.



[Sidenote: 1485 Henry's title to the Crown]

On August 22nd, 1485, Henry Earl of Richmond overcame and slew King Richard III., and was hailed as King on the field of victory. But the destruction of Richard, an indubitable usurper and tyrant, was only the first step in establishing a title to the throne as disputable as ever a monarch put forward. To establish that title, however, was the primary necessity not merely for Henry himself, but in the general interest; which demanded a secure government after half a century of turmoil.

Henry's hereditary title amounted to nothing more than this, that through his mother he was the recognised representative of the House of Lancaster in virtue of his Beaufort descent from John of Gaunt, [Footnote: See Front. and Appendix B. The prior hereditary claims of the royal Houses of Portugal and Castile and of the Earl of Westmorland were ignored.] father of Henry IV.; whereas the House of York was descended in the female line from Lionel of Clarence, John of Gaunt's elder brother, and in unbroken male line from the younger brother Edmund of York. On the simple ground of descent therefore, any and every member of the House of York had a prior title to Henry's; the most complete title lying in Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Edward IV.; while the young Earl of Warwick, son of George of Clarence, was the first male representative, and John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, son of Edward's sister, had been named by Richard as heir presumptive.

But Henry could support his hereditary title, such as it was, by the actual fact that it was he and not a Yorkist who had challenged and overthrown the usurper Richard.

[Sidenote 1: Measures to strengthen the title] [Sidenote 2: 1486 Marriage]

Now the idea that the rivalry of the Houses of York and Lancaster should be terminated and their union be effected by the marriage of the two recognised representatives had been mooted long before. But in Henry's position, it was imperative that he should assert his own personal right to the throne, not admitting that he occupied it as his wife's consort. His strongest line was to claim the Crown as his own of right and procure the endorsement of that claim from Parliament, [Footnote: The intricacies of descent, and the position of the crowd of hypothetical claimants, are set forth in detail in Appendix B, and the complete genealogical chart (Front.).] as Henry IV. had done on the deposition of Richard II. He could then without prejudice to his own title effectively bar other rivals by taking as his consort Elizabeth of York; since the Yorkists, as a group, would at any rate hesitate to assert priority of title to hers for either Warwick or De la Pole (who in fact never himself posed as a claimant for the throne). In accordance with this plan of operations, the contemplated marriage with Elizabeth of York was in the first instance postponed as a matter for later consideration. Henry proceeded forthwith to London, entering the City laetanter, amidst public rejoicings; [Footnote: Gairdner, Memorials of Henry VII., p. xxvi, where a curious misapprehension is explained for which Bacon is mainly responsible.] writs for a new Parliament being issued a few days later. The coronation took place on October 30th; a week afterwards Parliament met, and an Act was promptly passed, declaring—without giving any reasons, which might have been disputed—that the "inheritance of the Crowns of England and France be, rest, remain and abide, in the person of our now Sovereign Lord, King Harry the Seventh, and in the heirs of his body". This was sufficiently decisive; but the endorsement of Henry's title in the abstract was confirmed by further enactments which assumed that he had been King of right, before the battle of Bosworth (thus repudiating title by conquest), since they attainted of treason those who had joined Richard in levying war against him. Thus Henry had affirmed his own inherent right to the throne; and had hedged that round with an unqualified parliamentary title. In the meantime he had also disqualified one possible figure-head for the Yorkists by lodging the young Earl of Warwick in the Tower. It remained for him to convert the other and principal rival into a prop of his own dignities by marrying Elizabeth of York. Accordingly he was formally petitioned by Parliament in December to take the princess to wife, to which petition he graciously assented, and the union of the red and white roses was accomplished in January. Any son born of this marriage would in his own person unite the claims of the House of Lancaster with those of the senior branch of the House of York.

[Sidenote: The King and his advisers]

It is difficult to think of the first Tudor monarch as a young man; for his policy and conduct bore at all times the signs of a cautious and experienced statesmanship. Nevertheless, he was but eight and twenty when he wrested the kingdom from Richard. His life, however, had been passed in the midst of perpetual plots and schemes, and in his day men developed early—whereof an even more striking example was his son's contemporary, the great Emperor Charles V. Young as Henry was, there was no youthful hot-headedness in his policy, which was moreover his own. But he selected his advisers with a skill inherited by his son; and the most notable members of the new King's Council were Reginald Bray; Morton, Bishop of Ely, who soon after became Archbishop of Canterbury and was later raised to the Cardinalate; and Fox, afterwards Bishop of Durham and then of Winchester, whose services were continued through the early years of the next reign. Warham, afterwards Archbishop, was another of the great ecclesiastics whom he promoted, and before his death he had discovered the abilities of his son's great minister Thomas Wolsey. For two thirds of his reign, however, Bray and Morton were the men on whom he placed chief reliance.

[Sidenote: Henry's enemies]

Difficult as it was after Henry's union with Elizabeth to name any pretender to the throne with even a plausible claim, Bosworth had been in effect a victory for the Lancastrian party, and many of the Yorkists were still prepared to seize any pretext for attempting to overthrow the new dynasty. Not long after the marriage, Henry started on a progress through his dominions; and while he was in the north, Lord Lovel and other adherents of the late king attempted a rising which was however suppressed with little difficulty. A considerable body of troops was sent against the rebels, while a pardon was proclaimed for all who forthwith surrendered. Many of the insurgents came in; the promise to them was kept. Of the rest, one of the leaders was executed, Lovel escaping; but the affair, though abortive, illustrated the general atmosphere of insecurity which was to be more seriously demonstrated by the insurrection in favour of Lambert Simnel in the following year—some months after the Queen had given birth to a son, Prince Arthur.

Outside Henry's own dominions, the Dowager Margaret of Burgundy, widow of Duke Charles the Bold and sister of Edward IV., was implacably hostile to Henry, and her court was the gathering place of dissatisfied Yorkist intriguers. Within his realms, Ireland, where the House of York had always been popular, offered a perpetual field in which to raise the standard of rebellion, any excuse for getting up a fight being generally welcomed. In that country the power of the King's government, such as it was, was practically confined to the limits of the Pale—and within those limits depended mainly on the attitude of the powerful Irish noble, Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare, who held the office of Deputy.

[Sidenote: 1487 Lambert Simnel]

At the close of the fifteenth century accurate information did not travel rapidly, but vague rumours were readily spread abroad. Rumours were now rife that one of the princes murdered by Richard III. had really escaped and was still living; and on the other hand that the boy Warwick was dead in the Tower. Some one devised the idea of producing a fictitious Richard of York, or Warwick. A boy of humble birth named Lambert Simnel was taught to play the part, carried over to Ireland, and produced after some hesitation as the Earl of Warwick. Presumably the leaders of the Yorkists intended to use the supposititious earl only until the real one could be got into their hands; but Lincoln, who certainly knew the facts, espoused the cause of the pretender, in complicity with Lovel and Margaret of Burgundy. In Ireland, Simnel was cheerfully and with practical unanimity accepted as the king, and a band of German mercenaries, under the command of Martin Swart, was landed in that country to support him; though in London the genuine Warwick was paraded through the streets to show that he was really there alive. Lincoln, who had first escaped to Flanders, joined the pretender; they landed in Lancashire in June. Within a fortnight, however, the opposing forces met at Stoke, and after a brief but fierce conflict the rebel army, mainly composed of Irish and of German mercenaries, was crushed, Lincoln and several leaders were slain, and their puppet was taken captive. Henry's action was the reverse of vindictive, for Simnel was merely relegated to a position, appropriate to his origin, in the royal kitchen, and was subsequently promoted to be one of the King's falconers. Kildare, [Footnote: The narrative in the Book of Howth gives the impression that Kildare was at Stoke, and was made prisoner; but this is probably a misinterpretation arising from a lack of dates.] in spite of his undoubted complicity in the rebellion and the actual participation therein of his kinsmen, was even retained in the office of Deputy. Twenty-eight of the rebels, however, were attainted in the new Parliament which was summoned in November, the Queen's long-deferred coronation taking place at the same time.

The same Parliament is noteworthy as having given a definitely legal status to the judicial authority of the Council by the establishment of the Court thereafter known as the Star Chamber, of which we shall hear later. Besides this, however, it had the duty of voting supplies for embroilments threatening on the Continent.

The complexities of foreign affairs form so important a feature in the history of the next forty years that it is important to open the study of the period with a clear idea of the position of the Continental powers.

[Sidenote: The state of Europe]

Lewis XI., the craftiest of kings, had died in 1482, leaving a tolerably organised kingdom to his young son Charles VIII., under the regency of Anne of Beaujeu. With the exception of the Dukedom of Brittany, which still claimed a degree of independence, and of Flanders and Artois which, though fiefs of France, were still ruled by the House of Burgundy, the whole country was under the royal dominion; which had also absorbed the Duchy of Burgundy proper. The daughter of Charles the Bold, wife of Maximilian of Austria, inherited as a diminished domain the Low Countries and the County of Burgundy or Franche Comte.

East of the Rhine, the kingdoms, principalities, and dukedoms of Germany owned the somewhat vague authority of the Habsburg Emperor Frederick, but the idea of German Unity had not yet come into being. On the south-east the Turks who had captured Constantinople some thirty years before (1453) were a militant and aggressive danger to the Empire and to Christendom; while the stoutest opponent of their fleets was Venice. Switzerland was an independent confederacy of republican States: Italy a collection of separate States—dukedoms such as Milan, kingdoms such as Naples, Republics such as Venice and Florence, with the Papal dominions in their midst. In the Spanish peninsula were the five kingdoms of Navarre, Portugal, the Moorish Granada, Aragon, and Castile. The last two, however, were already united, though not yet merged into one, by the marriage of their respective sovereigns Ferdinand and Isabella. Sardinia and Sicily were attached to Aragon.

Finally we have to note that Maximilian, son of the Emperor, had married Mary of Burgundy; but on Mary's death the Netherlanders recognised as their Duke not Maximilian but his young son Philip—the father exercising only a very precarious authority as the boy's guardian; while the Dowager Margaret, the second wife of Charles the Bold, the lady whose hostility to the House of Lancaster has been already noted, possessed some dower-towns, and considerable influence. In 1486 Maximilian was elected "King of the Romans," in other words his father's presumed successor as Emperor.

[Sidenote: France and Brittany]

For the time, then, the consolidation of France was more advanced than that of any other Power; her desire was to complete the process by the absorption of Brittany. Spain, i.e., Castile and Aragon, had made considerable progress in the same direction, but for her the conquest of Granada was still the prime necessity.

The absorption of Brittany, however, was opposed alike to the interests of Maximilian, of the Spanish monarchs, and of England. To the former two, any further acquisition of power by France was a possible menace. To the last, France was traditionally the enemy, and if Breton ports became French ports, the strength of France in the Channel would be almost doubled. Henry personally was under great obligations both to France and to Brittany, especially to France; but political exigencies evidently compelled him to favour the maintenance of Breton independence.

During 1487 France had been carrying on active hostilities in Brittany, but the results had been small and a treaty had been signed. Lewis, Duke of Orleans, and others of the French nobility who were hostile to the regency of Anne of Beaujeu, were actively promoting the Breton cause within the dukedom; there was no longer an active French party there; and now that Henry in England had suppressed the Simnel rising France became anxious to secure English neutrality. But, if Henry could not keep clear of the complication altogether; if once the parties in the contest began appealing to him; he was liable to find himself forced to take part with one side or the other. Hence the necessity for calling upon Parliament to vote money for armaments.

[Sidenote: 1488 Henry intervenes cautiously]

Thus in the opening months of 1488 we find Henry on the one hand fitting out ships, and on the other offering friendly mediation both to France and to Brittany: while his policy was not simplified by the unauthorised interposition of his queen's uncle Edward Woodville, who secretly sailed with a band of adventurers to support the Bretons. Henry repudiated Woodville's action, and extended the existing treaty of peace with France to January, 1490. In the same month (July, 1488) the Bretons suffered a complete defeat, and the Duke was obliged to sign a treaty on ignominious terms. Within a fortnight, however, the Duke was dead, and his daughter Anne, a girl of twelve, succeeded him.

The result was the renewal of war; since Anne of Beaujeu and the Breton Marshal de Rieux both claimed the wardship of the young Duchess, for whose hand the widower Maximilian was already a prominent suitor. Now up to this point Henry had refused to adopt a hostile attitude towards France, and had treated overtures from Maximilian with frigidity. But in six months' time he was concluding alliances both with Brittany and with Maximilian.

[Sidenote: England and Spain]

The determining factor in this change of attitude, practically involving a French war, is probably to be found in Henry's relations with Spain. It was of vital importance to him to get his dynasty recognised in an emphatic form by foreign Powers. In Spain under its very able rulers he saw the most valuable of allies, and during the first half of 1488 he had made it his primary concern to procure the betrothal of his own infant son Arthur to their infant daughter Katharine. And virtually his hostility to France was the price they demanded. The preliminaries were settled in July, 1488; the treaty was not definitively signed till March of the next year; and as the essential nature of the Spanish requirements became more apparent, Henry found himself compelled to accept active antagonism to France as part of the bargain. With his subjects, a French war was always secure of a certain popularity, though the provision of funds for it would entail a degree of opposition. Moreover, though foreign wars might give extreme malcontents their opportunity, it is a commonplace of politics that they distract attention from domestic grievances. Thus it is easy to perceive how the benefits of the Spanish alliance would very definitely turn the scale. And we shall still find that Henry had no intention of expending an ounce of either blood or treasure which might be saved consistently with the ostensible fulfilment of the Spanish Compact.

[Sidenote 1: 1489 Preparations for war with France] [Sidenote 2: Spanish treaty of Medina del Campo]

So in December, 1488, Henry was sending friendly embassies to all the Powers, but while that to France was merely offering mediation, the envoy to Brittany was offering military assistance—on terms. In January a new Parliament was asked for, and after considerable debate granted, L100,000. In February the embassy to Maximilian concluded an alliance for mutual defence; while that to Brittany pledged Henry to defend the young Duchess, but exacted in return the occupation by the English of sundry military positions in the duchy, and the right to forbid any marriage or alliance except with Maximilian or Spain. Then in March the Spanish treaty was completed: whereof the terms were very significant. The children were to be betrothed. If Spain declared war on France, England was to support her. Spain might retire independently if she recovered the small districts of Roussillon and Cerdagne, which had been surrendered (though only in pledge) to Lewis XI.; England might similarly withdraw if she got back Guienne—a very much more visionary prospect. Otherwise, one was not to retire without the other being equally satisfied. If England attacked France, Spain was to help; but occupied as she was with Granada the amount of aid likely to be forthcoming was problematical. In brief, Henry was prepared to pay for the marriage, and Spain could exact a high price.

France then was occupied in the west with the contest in Brittany, and in the north she was supporting the Flemings in their normal resistance to Maximilian. The English could use Calais as a base for operations on this side, and also began to throw troops into Brittany. Incidentally there was a rising in the north of England headed by Sir John Egremont, of which the pretext was resistance to the levying of taxes; this, however, did not take very long to suppress, nor was any one of importance involved in it. Still the hostilities with France were carried on in a very half-hearted fashion; being confined to defensive operations in Brittany which were supposed to be no violation of the peace recently prolonged to January, 1490.

[Sidenote: The allies inert]

Henry was satisfied to make a show of fighting, and Spain made no haste to help him, England not being formally at war. As early as July, Maximilian, shiftiest and most impecunious of princes, concluded at Frankfort an independent treaty with France; who agreed to give up the places she occupied in Brittany if Henry were compelled to withdraw his garrisons; while there were signs that she might cede Roussillon and thus deprive Henry of his claim to Spanish support. Within the duchy itself, the Marshal de Rieux and his ward were in a state of antagonism; since he wished her to marry the Sieur D'Albret, a powerful Gascon noble who was not too submissive to the French monarchy; while the Duchess declared she would rather enter a convent. Anne at last announced her adhesion to the treaty of Frankfort; but as Henry had no intention of evacuating his forts, nothing particular resulted. The English King could not afford simply to drop the contest, and when the New Year came in, he demanded and obtained from Parliament fresh supplies for carrying on the war.

[Sidenote: 1490 Object of Henry's foreign policy]

The game Henry had to play in 1490 was a sufficiently difficult one: and he played it with consummate skill. He meant to hold his position in Brittany until he received adequate indemnities; he had to satisfy his own subjects that he was not going to draw back before the power of France; and he had to carry out the letter of his obligations to Spain under the treaty of the previous March, On the other hand, he had in fact no ambitious military projects, and while Spain abstained from sending active assistance in force, she could not complain if he merely stood on the defensive. The Duchess, finding herself no better off for accepting the Frankfort treaty, adopted the alternative policy of throwing herself on his protection. So he welcomed a mediatorial embassy from the Pope and showed no unwillingness to negotiate, but continued to strengthen his own position; while he could exhibit a sound reason for abstaining from aggressive action and still accumulate war-funds.

By Midsummer France had enlarged her demands since the treaty of Frankfort, requiring the withdrawal of the English from Brittany as a preliminary not to her own withdrawal but to arbitration on her claims. In September the shifty King of the Romans reverted to an alliance with Henry for mutual defence; and the scheme of his marriage with the Duchess Anne was pressed on. Marshal de Rieux had by this time become reconciled to the Duchess, thrown over D'Albret, and come into agreement with Henry. At this time, moreover, Henry ratified publicly the Spanish treaty which had been accepted by Ferdinand and Isabella eighteen months before; but he also submitted an alternative treaty [Footnote: Busch, England under the Tudors. pp. 59, 330; and Gairdner's note, p. 438.] (which Spain rejected) modifying the portions which placed the contracting Powers on an unequal footing. By this step he forced the Spanish monarchs to resign any pretence of having treated him generously or having placed him under an obligation; and the step itself was significant of the increased confidence he had acquired in the stability of his own position. In December Maximilian was married by proxy to Anne—whom he had never seen—and not long afterwards she assumed the style of Queen of the Romans.

[Sidenote: Apparent defeat of Henry's policy]

Ostensibly, the object of Henry's diplomacy had failed. Spain had rejected his proposals: and the direct results of Anne's marriage were that the activity of France was renewed; Spain, with the pretext of the Moorish war to plead, was less inclined than ever to render assistance; Maximilian as a matter of course proved a broken reed; D'Albret, his pretensions being finally shattered, surrendered Nantes to the French by arrangement. England was apparently to bear the entire brunt of the war. Henry was justified in appealing to his subjects for every penny that could be raised, and resorted to "benevolences"—an insidious method of extortion which had been declared illegal in the previous reign, but under the existing abnormal conditions could hardly be resisted. A great demonstration of warlike ardour was made, on the strength of which Spain was urged to pledge herself to throw herself into the war next year with more energy and on more reasonable terms than the existing treaty of Medina del Campo provided for. But in the meantime the French were reducing Brittany, and held the Duchess besieged in Rennes. The French King, Charles VIII., proposed that the marriage with a husband whom she had never seen should be annulled, and the dispute be terminated by his wedding her himself. Resistance seemed hopeless; Anne assented; the necessary dispensations were secured from Rome, and Anne of Brittany became Queen of France.

[Sidenote: 1492 Henry's bellicose attitude]

Now the defence of Brittany had been the primary ground of England's quarrel with the French; with Henry himself, however, this object had been secondary to the matrimonial alliance with Spain, from which the latter was now not likely to withdraw. Henry, moreover, had made use of the whole affair to acquire a full money-chest; and since it was of vital importance that this should be done without turning his subjects against him, it had been necessary to lend the war as popular a colour as possible. Hence it was part of his policy to emphasise at home as his ultimate end the recovery of the English rights in the French Crown, so successfully utilised by his predecessor Henry V. in the first quarter of the century. It would have been manifestly dangerous for him in establishing his dynasty to recede from a claim which both Yorkists and Lancastrians had maintained. Incidentally also, there was the matter of indemnities owing to him by Anne of Brittany for which Maximilian had been made responsible.

[Sidenote 1: France makes peace] [Sidenote 2: Treaty of Etaples (Dec.)]

Since then it was impracticable simply to retire, the alternative course was to demonstrate; and Henry spent the greater part of 1492 in making the greatest possible display of preparation for war on a great scale—with a view to obtaining satisfying terms of peace. The one real piece of military work taken in hand was the siege and capture of Sluys in Flanders (in conjunction with Albert of Saxony, on behalf of Maximilian); from which port much injury of a piratical order had been wrought upon English merchants. Meantime negotiations had been carried on, but with no appearance of success. At last in October the King actually crossed the Channel to take command of the army of invasion; and sat down before Boulogne. Then on a sudden the air cleared. Charles in fact did not want a serious English war, out of which he could make nothing. But he had developed a very keen ambition to enter Italy and win the Crown of Naples. Henry by himself, or even in conjunction with the much offended Maximilian, was hardly likely to penetrate very far into France, if the forces of that kingdom were arrayed against him; but while he threatened, Charles could not move on Italy; moreover, his presence was an encouragement to those of the nobility whose allegiance was doubtful. So the French King resolved to buy off the English King at his own price. Lewis XI., threatened by Edward IV., had agreed to pay what Edward called a tribute, in return for which he held his claim to the French throne in abeyance. Henry need have no qualms about following his Yorkist predecessor's example. Beyond that, Charles was prepared to pay off the Brittany indemnities. Thus Henry secured Peace with Honour and a solid cash equivalent for his expenditure; besides being able to silence the complaints of the warlike by emphasising the gravity of embarking on a great campaign with winter coming on. He threw over Maximilian, but the faithlessness of the King of the Romans was so palpable and notorious that at the worst Henry was only paying him back in his own coin. As to Spain, Henry knew that the monarchs had been endeavouring to negotiate a separate peace, and they had never carried out their part of the contract. So far as he was breaking engagements with his allies, their own conduct had given him ample warrant. The event had justified Henry's management of a very difficult situation. The Peace of Etaples was ratified in December; and Henry emerged from the war with England's continental prestige restored to a respectable position, a full treasury, and his throne in England infinitely more secure than it had been three years before. He was never again driven to enter upon a foreign war; and now the appearance of Perkin Warbeck on the scene, though it kept England in a state of uneasiness for some years, was incomparably less dangerous than it would have proved at an earlier stage.



[Sidenote: Ireland, 1485]

Before entering upon the career of Perkin Warbeck, we must give somewhat closer attention to the affairs of the sister island, to which reference has already been made in connexion with the Simnel revolt. Ireland had never been really brought under English dominion. Within the district known as the English Pale, there was some sort of control, extending even less effectively over the province of Leinster, and beyond that practically ceasing altogether, except in a few coast towns; the Norman barons who had settled there having so to speak turned Irish, and even in some cases having translated their names into Celtic forms. The most powerful of the nobles at this time were the Geraldines, at whose head were the Earls of Kildare and of Desmond, and the Butlers whose chief was the Earl of Ormonde. But the primacy belonged to Kildare, who moreover had stood high in favour with the House of York. It had been the practice for the English kings to appoint a nominal absentee governor, whose functions were discharged by a Deputy; and Kildare was Deputy under both Edward IV. and Richard.

[Sidenote: 1487-92 The Earl of Kildare]

Henry, on his accession, had seen that the one chance of keeping the country in any degree quiet lay in securing Kildare's allegiance and support; and proposals for his continuation in the office of Deputy had been under discussion when Lambert Simnel was hailed as King and crowned, with the open support not only of Kildare but of nearly all the barons and bishops. It did not suit Henry's policy to attempt punishment under these conditions; he preferred conciliation; and after Stoke, Kildare was retained as Deputy, when he and Simuel's principal adherents had sworn loyalty. In 1490 Henry had found it necessary to reprimand Kildare for sundry breaches of the law, commanding his presence in England within ten months. Kildare made no move, but at the end of the ten months wrote to say that he could not possibly come over, as the state of the country made his presence there imperative. The letter was written in the name of the Council, and signed by fifteen of its members. This was backed by another letter from Desmond and other nobles in the south-west, declaring that they had persuaded the Deputy that the peace of Ireland quite forbade his departure.

Probably it was much about this period—that is, some time in 1491—that a new claimant to Henry's throne (Perkin Warbeck) appeared in the south-west of Ireland, declaring himself to be that Richard Duke of York who was reported to have been murdered in the Tower along with his brother Edward V. Desmond espoused his cause, while Kildare and others coquetted with him. Agents from Desmond and the pretender visited the court of the young King of Scots James IV., in March, 1492, and in the summer Charles VIII., whose territories Henry was then ostentatiously preparing to invade, invited the young man over to France where he was received as the rightful King of England. The conclusion of peace, however, at the end of the year, made it necessary for the French King to withdraw his countenance from Henry's enemies; and the pretender retired to the congenial atmosphere of the court of Margaret of Burgundy. In the meantime Kildare, whose complicity with Desmond it had become impossible entirely to ignore, had been deprived of his office, and a new Deputy appointed.

[Sidenote 1: 1491 Perkin Warbeck's appearance] [Sidenote 2: Riddle of his imposture]

The self-styled Richard of York is known to history as Perkin Warbeck. The account of his early career subsequently given to the world in his own confession is generally accepted as genuine. The son of a Tournai boatman, he served during his boyhood under half a dozen different masters in three or four Netherland cities and in Lisbon. At the age of seventeen he took service with one Pregent Meno, a Breton merchant, and incidentally appeared at Cork where he paraded in costly array. Such was the effect of his appearance and bearing that the citizens of Cork declared he must be a Plantagenet. Taxed with being in reality either the Earl of Warwick or an illegitimate son of Richard III., he swore he was nothing of the kind; but his admirers declared that in that case he could only be Richard of York, who had somehow been saved from sharing his brother's fate in the Tower. Perkin found himself unable to resist such importunity, accepted the dignity thrust upon him, and set himself to learn his part. The partisans of the White Rose had shown in the case of Lambert Simnel their preference for even a palpable impostor bearing their badge, as compared with the objectionable Tudor; and a genuine Duke of York would have the advantage of a claim stronger even than that of his sister Elizabeth, Henry's queen. Perkin, however, must have acted up to his part with no little skill to have maintained himself as a plausible impostor up to the time when Margaret of Burgundy received him—even though he met no one in whose interest it was to pose him with inconvenient questions. So apt a pupil would then have had little difficulty in assimilating the instructions of Margaret; and, after a couple of years' training with her, in at least supporting his role with plausibility. That Perkin himself told this story is not very conclusive, since the confession was produced under circumstances quite compatible with the whole thing having been dictated to him; yet difficult as it is to believe, it is less incredible than the alternative—that he was the real duke, who had been smuggled out of the Tower eight years before he was produced, and kept in concealment all through the interval, even while the Yorkist leaders had been reduced to setting up a supposititious Earl of Warwick for a figurehead.

[Sidenote: 1492-95 Perkin and Margaret of Burgundy]

It certainly does not seem that on Perkin's appearance in Ireland he had any active supporters outside that country, or that he caused any perturbation in Henry's mind. Foreign princes, whether they regarded him as genuine or as an impostor, would certainly not espouse his cause unless they were at enmity with Henry. Even Charles VIII. made no haste to lend him countenance until it seemed almost certain that there was to be a war with England on a great scale; and he had no hesitation in dismissing the pretender when peace was concluded; while the Spanish sovereigns, though quite ready to intrigue against their Tudor ally, had no intention of committing themselves to an open breach with him. The peace, however, which dismissed Perkin from France, gave him a zealous adherent in the person of Maximilian, who was now filled with a righteous animosity to Henry; and the young lord of the Netherlands, his son Philip, Duke of Burgundy, declared that he had no power to control the Dowager Margaret, dwelling on her own estates. So Perkin made her court his head-quarters—a useful tool for the weaving of Yorkist intrigues. Henry might, if he would, have legitimately founded a casus belli on this attitude, but he preferred to institute a commercial war; from which, however, the English merchants suffered little less than the Flemings.

In 1493 the Emperor died, and was in effect succeeded by the King of the Romans, though his election to the Imperial throne did not take place for some years. Maximilian, however, remained impecunious and inefficient; Charles VIII. was giving his entire attention to his Italian projects; the whole affair of Perkin Warbeck was carried on mainly below the surface on both sides, by a process of mining and counter-mining. Henry was well served by Sir Robert Clifford and others, who wormed themselves into the confidence of the Yorkist plotters, revealing what they learnt to the King. When the time was ripe (January, 1495), Henry's hand fell suddenly on the unsuspecting conspirators in England; whose chiefs, including Sir William Stanley, who was supposed to be one of the King's most trusted supporters, were sent to the block. It was this same Sir William Stanley who, striking in at Bosworth on the side of Henry, had been mainly instrumental in deciding the fortunes of the day; and he had been rewarded with the office of Chamberlain.

[Sidenote: Diplomatic intrigues]

During the two years following the Treaty of Etaples Charles VIII. had early made his peace also with Spain by the treaty of Barcelona and with Maximilian by that of Senlis. The desired provinces, Roussillon and Cerdagne, were restored to Ferdinand and Isabella, who adopted a distant attitude to Henry. The French King, free to follow his own devices, entered Italy towards the close of 1494, marched south without opposition, and was crowned at Naples in February, 1495, the reigning family fleeing before him. So early and important an accession of strength to the French Crown had hardly been anticipated, and the European sovereigns made haste to form a League against France. Spain was desirous of bringing England into the league; but the wayward Maximilian was still determined to support Perkin Warbeck, apparently thinking that by substituting a Yorkist prince for Henry he would secure a more amenable ally.

[Sidenote: 1492-95 Ireland]

Meanwhile, Ireland also had been undergoing judicious treatment. Kildare, removed from the Deputy-ship in 1492, came over to England to give an account of himself in the following year. Here he was detained until, in the autumn of 1494, the King appointed a new three-year-old Governor in the person of his second son Henry, whom he also created Duke of York, making Sir Edward Poynings Deputy. Poynings was an experienced and capable soldier, who had been in command before Sluys in the recent campaign; and on his departure for Ireland Kildare went with him. Both the ex-Deputy and the Earl of Ormonde promised to render loyal service; but it was no very long time before Kildare was sent back to England under accusations of treason. We may here anticipate matters by observing that this was the last case of misbehaviour on his part. He won his way once more into the royal favour, and when Poynings left Ireland in 1496 Kildare yet again went back as Deputy, which office he retained for the remainder of Henry's reign, and a portion of his son's also.

It is curious to observe in the turbulent Deputy traits of that audacious humour which we are wont to regard as peculiarly Irish: a characteristic fully appreciated by the English King. When taken to task for burning the Cathedral at Cashel, he is reported to have said that he would not have done so, only the bishop was inside. His casual announcement on a previous occasion that he could not obey the royal summons to England because the country could not get on without him was paralleled either in 1493 or 1495 —it is uncertain which—by his defence against the Bishop of Meath's charges. He said he must be represented by Counsel; the King replied that he might have whom he would. "Give me your hand," quoth the Earl. "Here it is," said the King. "Well," said Kildare, "I can see no better man than you, and by St. Bride I will choose none other." Said the Bishop, "You see what manner of man he is. All Ireland cannot rule him." "Then," said the King, "he must be the man to rule all Ireland."

[Sidenote: Poynings in Ireland 1494-96]

The government of Poynings was not prolonged, but it was very much to the point. "Poynings' Law," passed by the Parliament assembled at Drogheda in December, 1494, fixed Constitutional procedure for a very long time. Irish Parliaments were to be summoned only with the approval of the King's Council in England, and only after it had also approved the measures which were to be submitted to them by the Irish Deputy and Council. In effect, however, these legislative functions at this time were hardly more limited than those of English Parliaments, which were summoned at the King's pleasure, and only had what might be called "Government Bills" submitted to them. The royal Council was practically in the position of a Cabinet holding office as representing not the parliamentary majority but the King's personal views. The Parliament might discuss and accept or reject, but had not as yet acquired a practical initiative itself. At the same time that this law was passed, a declaratory Act abolished the theory which had grown up at an early stage of the conflict between the White and Red Roses, of regarding Ireland as a country where a rebel in England was a free man: a notion which had greatly facilitated the intrigues of both Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck on Irish soil. Further, besides some enactments for checking feudal customs which tended to disorder, it was ordained that the principal castles should always be under the command of Englishmen. Poynings also endeavoured, by bestowing pensions (on terms) on some of the principal chiefs outside the Pale—such as O'Neill in Ulster and O'Brien in the west—to convert their position into one of semi-official responsibility to the official Government. A basis for the maintenance of law and order having thus been provided, the Irish difficulty was solved for the time when "the man to rule all Ireland," benevolently disposed to a King who had shown that he knew the right way to take him, was restored to the office of Deputy.

[Sidenote: 1495 Survey of the situation]

In the early spring, then, of 1495, this was the position of affairs. Perkin Warbeck lay at the court of Margaret of Burgundy; but his plans had been upset by Clifford's information and the punishment of the ringleaders in England. Poynings was in Ireland, and the prospect of keeping that country in reasonable order was unusually promising. Charles VIII. had just made himself master of Naples; and the Spanish sovereigns (who had completed the destruction of the Moorish dominion in Granada some three years earlier) were now occupied in forming with the Pope, Venice, Milan, and Maximilian the Holy League against French aggression; into which they were anxious to draw Henry, whose weight if thrown into the other scale would be of considerable value to France. For the last two years, since the treaty of Barcelona, they had evaded the recognition or reconstruction of any compact with England; but under the changed conditions, while they would not admit that the old engagements were binding, they offered to frame new treaties for Henry's inclusion in the League, at the same time confirming the project of the marriage between their daughter Katharine and the Prince of Wales. Henry, however, was now in a much stronger position at home; and though he desired the Spanish alliance, he had no intention of allowing that bait to seduce him into making himself a cat's-paw. France was offering a counter-inducement in the shape of a marriage with the daughter of the Duke of Bourbon; Henry indicated that while Maximilian was fostering the pretensions of the impostor Warbeck, it was not serious politics to talk of being associated with him in the League. Spain might make promises on Maximilian's behalf, but could not ensure that he would keep them.

[Sidenote: 1495 Warbeck attempts invasion]

Time was working in Henry's favour. In July (1495) an expedition sailed from Flanders to place Perkin on the English throne. Maximilian's hopes were high: he bragged to the Venetians that the "Duke of York" would immediately unseat the Tudor, and when he was on the throne, England would be at the beck of the League. The Emperor's impracticability was sufficiently shown by his having procured from Perkin his own recognition as heir, if the pretender should die without issue. The expedition attempted to land at Deal, but the men of Kent assembled in arms, and drove it off with ignominious ease. For once Henry was severe, and put to death no fewer than 150 of Warbeck's followers, who had been taken prisoners. Warbeck himself did not even set foot on the realm he claimed, but made for Ireland where he had first been so warmly welcomed. Here his old supporter Desmond took up his cause again, and Waterford was attacked by sea and land; but there was no general rising, and Poynings had no difficulty in raising the siege. Foiled both in England and Ireland, Perkin now betook himself to Scotland to obtain the help of the young King, James IV.

[Sidenote: Success of Henry's diplomacy]

The affair showed conclusively how small was the danger in England of a Yorkist rising in favour of the pretender—a fact very fully recognised by Ferdinand and Isabella, though Maximilian clung pertinaciously to his protege. Moreover, the position of the League was somewhat precarious, since both Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, and the Venetians, were suspected with justice of readiness to make their own terms with France. It was more than ever necessary to bring Henry into the combination; and Henry, still diplomatically suave, was less than ever prepared to accept conditions which would fetter him inconveniently. He would not commit himself to make war on France except at his own time; and Maximilian must definitely and conclusively repudiate Warbeck. At last in July, 1496, the new League was concluded. Henry's diplomacy achieved a distinct triumph. His alliance had been won, but only on his own terms; all he wished to secure had been secured. The Spanish sovereigns were so far from feeling that they could make a tool of him that they were in considerable trepidation lest he should still throw them over if a tolerably legitimate excuse offered, and were anxious to do all they could to conciliate him without betraying the full extent of their fears. Henry had already, in February, terminated the commercial war with the Flemings by the treaty with Philip known as the Intercursus Magnus, which included a proviso against the admission into Philip's territories of rebels against the English King.

[Sidenote: 1496 Warbeck and the King of Scots]

When Perkin Warbeck made his way to Scotland the young King of that country was already fully informed as to the nature of his claims. James, when a boy of sixteen, had taken part in the rebellion headed by Douglas Earl of Angus, in which his father the late King had been overthrown at Sauchie Burn and murdered after the battle. He was now twenty-four years of age, of brilliant parts, no mean scholar, an admirable athlete, and ambitious to raise the name of Scotland among the nations. His weakness lay mainly in a boyish impulsiveness, which often caused him to mar well-laid plans on the spur of the moment, and in an exaggerated fondness for chivalric ideas more appropriate to a knight-errant than to a king or a leader of armies. Perkin appealed to him as early as 1492; and before the pretender's expedition sailed, Tyrconnel, chief of the O'Donnells of the north-west of Ireland, presented himself in Scotland to renew the appeal. The antagonism of Scottish feeling to the ruling powers in England was chronic. There was a treaty of peace between England and Scotland, but the unfailing turbulence of the borders kept each country constantly provided with a tolerable excuse for accusing the other of having broken its engagements. James was well within his rights in receiving the claimant; of the justice of whose title he evidently persuaded himself, since he bestowed a kinswoman of his own upon him in marriage, Lady Katharine Gordon. In the summer of 1496 he was making active preparations for an incursion into England on Warbeck's behalf; largely influenced no doubt by the promise that, should it prove successful, Berwick, which had been finally ceded to England fourteen years before, was to be once more surrendered to the Scots. The astute Henry turned all this to account, by impressing on the Spanish and Venetian agents the urgent necessity laid on him to abstain from military operations against France while Scotland was so threatening.

[Sidenote 1: A Scottish incursion (Sept.)] [Sidenote 2: 1497]

James did in fact raid the North of England in September; but the incursion was a raid and nothing more. Perkin, to the surprise and even contempt both of Scots and English, protested against the sanguinary methods of border warfare, on behalf of the people whom he aspired to rule over. But the people themselves would have none of him. The expedition withdrew without having produced even the semblance of a Yorkist rising. After that, James no longer felt eager to plunge into a war on behalf of the pretender: but was inclined to retain him as a political asset. When, in the following year (1497), Charles VIII.—with a precisely similar object in view— offered him a considerable sum if he would send his guest over to France, the Scots King declined. In July, however, Perkin sailed from Scotland, apparently with intent to try Ireland again, where Kildare was once more Deputy. Henry had utilised the raid to obtain the recommendation of a large grant and loans from the Great Council forthwith; Parliament, which was called for January (1497), ratifying the grant as a subsidy. The raising of the loans had, however, been proceeded with, without waiting.

[Sidenote: The Cornish rising]

The defence of England against invading Scots was a matter of much importance to the northern counties, but lacked personal interest in Cornwall. Year after year the King had been receiving subsidies to arm for impending wars, borrowing, and levying benevolences. When a hostile France was the excuse, the population might murmur but was quite as willing to pay as could reasonably be expected. But the Scots had never invaded Cornwall, and the Cornishmen felt that it was time to protest. They would march to London—peaceably, of course—to demand according to custom the removal of the King's evil counsellors; Morton and Bray, to wit, who probably used their influence in reality to mitigate rather than intensify the royal demands. The insurgent leaders were a blacksmith, Joseph, and a lawyer, Flamock—appropriate chiefs for working men trying honestly enough to formulate what they had been led to regard as a grievance of what we should now call an unconstitutional character. With bills and bows, some thousands of them started on their march; preserving their peaceable character, till at Taunton the appearance of a commissioner for collecting the tax proved too much for their self-restraint, and the man was killed. A little later they were joined by Lord Audley, who became their leader. They expected the men of Kent, who of old had risen under Wat Tyler and again under Jack Cade, to take up the cause: but Kent did not recognise the similarity of the present conditions and gave them no welcome.

[Sidenote: The suppression (June)]

Meantime, Henry had not been idle; but he saw that the insurgents were not rousing the country as they progressed, and therefore he judged that the further they were drawn away from their own country the better. Except for a slight skirmish at Guildford, the Cornishmen were not actively interfered with till they encamped on Blackheath. Then, on June 17th, the royal forces proceeded to envelop them. Some two thousand were slain on the field. Audley, the lawyer, and the blacksmith, were put to death as traitors; the rest were pardoned, as having been not so much rebels as victims of demagogic arts.

[Sidenote: Warbeck's final failure (Sept.)]

The policy of leniency was not entirely successful, for the Cornishmen imagined it merely meant that the King recognised the impossibility of dealing sternly with every one who thought as they did. Warbeck, now in Ireland, where he was not finding the sympathy for which he had hoped, received messages to the effect that if he came to Cornwall he would find plenty of supporters. He came promptly, with a scanty following enough; but only a few thousand men joined him. He marched on Exeter, but that loyal town stoutly refused to admit him, and his attempts to carry gates and walls failed completely. Royal troops were on the march: the gentlemen of Devon, headed by the Earl, were up for the King. Perkin marched to Taunton, and then fled by night to take sanctuary at Beaulieu in Hampshire, where he was surrounded, and very soon submitted himself to the King's clemency.

[Sidenote: The Scottish truce]

In the meantime the Scottish King, though his sentiments towards Perkin had sensibly cooled, had no intention of leaving him in the lurch, and had advanced on Norham Castle very shortly after his protege had sailed for Ireland. The Earl of Surrey, however, who commanded in the north, was well prepared, and very soon took the field with twenty thousand men. James was obliged to withdraw, and though he challenged the Earl to single combat with Berwick as the stake, Surrey replied that Berwick was not his property but his master's, and he must regretfully decline the proposed method of arbitrament. He advanced over the border, making some captures and doing considerable damage; but after a week, commissariat difficulties made him retire in turn. In September Perkin's Cornish rising collapsed, and a seven years' treaty was entered upon between the two countries.

[Sidenote: The end of Perkin Warbeck 1497-99]

Towards the pretender and his followers, the King behaved with his usual leniency. A few leaders only were put to death; other penalties were reserved. Warbeck was compelled publicly to read at Exeter and later in London a confession of the true story of his own origin and that of the conspiracy; and was then relegated to not very strict confinement under surveillance. His supporters were allowed to purchase their pardon by heavy fines, which satisfactorily aided in the replenishment of the royal treasury.

The end of the pretender's story may be told in anticipation. It was ignominious and less creditable in its accompanying circumstances to Henry. In the summer of the next year, 1498, Perkin tried to escape, was promptly recaptured, set in the stocks, and required to read his confession publicly both in Westminster and London. He was then placed in strict confinement in the Tower, where the luckless Warwick had been kept a prisoner for thirteen years. The son of Clarence, still little more than a boy, was the only figure-head left for Yorkist malcontents. Another attempt to impersonate him by a youth named Ralph Wilford was nipped in the bud at the beginning of 1499; but Henry's nerve seems to have been seriously shaken by it, and probably he now began to make up his mind to get rid of his kinsman. Then some kind of conspiracy was concocted, in which both Warbeck and Warwick were involved; on 23rd November, 1499, Perkin was hanged, and five days later Warwick was beheaded, dying as he had lived a victim to his name; suffering for no treason or wrong-doing of his own, but simply because he was the nephew of Edward IV.

[Sidenote: 1498 The situation]

When the year 1497 closed, the preliminaries of a Scottish peace had been agreed upon; Perkin Warbeck was a prisoner: and the French King had already found his position in Italy untenable, and agreed to evacuate Naples and surrender the crown. His death and the accession of the Duke of Orleans as Lewis XII. in April of the next year further altered the face of international politics, already changing with the final collapse of Warbeck and his disappearance as a pawn in the game.



[Sidenote: Scotland and England]

From time immemorial almost, it might be said that Scotland had been a perpetual menace to her southern neighbour. Since the days of Bruce she had, it is true, been torn by ceaseless dissensions; a succession of long royal minorities with intrigues over the regency, family feuds between the great barons, strong kings who found themselves warring on a turbulent nobility, weak ones who could exercise no control, had not given the country much chance of consolidation; but the one binding sentiment that could be relied on in a crisis was antagonism to England. To settle the question by conquest had been proved impossible. Scotland might be over-run, but she could not be held in subjection. If England's eyes were bent on France, she must still manage to keep a watch on the north: but so long as dissensions were raging, there was not much fear of anything more serious than raiding expeditions.

[Sidenote: Henry's Scottish policy]

To keep Scotland innocuous was a primary object with the Tudor King. At the time when he grasped the sceptre of England, the King of Scots, James III., was a feeble ruler surrounded by unpopular favourites, with a baronage preparing to rise against him, and there was little danger to be apprehended. He was over-thrown and murdered in 1488. But James IV, who succeeded to the throne was of a different type. He was only a boy, however, and Henry was not long in initiating a policy, more fully developed by his descendants, of purchasing the support of leading nobles, notably at this time and for forty years to come, the Earls of Angus-with whom there was a compact as early as 1491. James, however, soon proved himself a popular and vigorous monarch, of a type which attracted the loyalty of his subjects, with a strong disposition to make his country a serious factor in the politics of the time, and by no means devoid of political sagacity despite his unfortunate impulsiveness and want of balance. To block Scotland out of the field by the simple process of keeping her thoroughly occupied with internal factions was not practicable under these conditions, and the attitude of James in the affair of Perkin Warbeck showed that he must be taken into serious account. Henry's political acuteness recognised in alliance with Scotland a more hopeful solution of the national problem than in eternal strife. The idea of a matrimonial connexion had indeed once before, since the days of Edward I., taken shape in the union of James I. to Jane Beaufort; but with little practical effect. This idea Henry revived in a form destined ultimately to revolutionise the relations of the two kingdoms. His own eldest daughter Margaret was but eighteen years younger than the King of Scots—quite near enough for compatibility. From the time of the peace entered upon after Warbeck's capture, Henry began to work with this marriage as one of his objects. His foresight and sagacity is marked by the fact that he recognised—and did not shrink from the possibility—that a Scottish monarch might thus one day find himself heir to the throne of England.

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